In a week Obama magically reduces al Qaeda to only hurling insults
I get a hoot out of things like this. Matt Yglesias:For years now, liberals have had to put up with basic points about the value of not doing stuff that’s hugely unpopular around the world caricatured as the idea that if we just act nicer, al-Qaeda leaders will lay down their arms. The reality, as Joby Warrick reports for The Washington Post is that whe
 
Brave Souls
It is rare to see this sort of bravery on camera, much less in the news. The following gentlemen will likely tell most of our readers nothing that they haven’t already heard elsewhere, or surmised through their various information gathering. But, even while these three men are speaking about the knowledge they’ve attained through the years, please keep in mind how dangerous it is for them to be doing so. And listen carefully to what they have to say:
 
Truce? What Truce?
As if this will come as a surprise to anyone:A day after Hamas announced a truce with Israel, a spokesman for Izzadin Kassam, the group’s military wing, stressed that Hamas would rearm, despite efforts to stop weapons smuggling into the Gaza Strip. "Do what you like, but manufacturing holy weapons is our goal," masked
 
Can’t beat the IDF? Take it out on your own ...
No real surprise here. It is the usual route cowards take:Hamas militiamen have rounded up hundreds of Fatah activists on suspicion of "collaboration" with Israel during Operation Cast Lead, Fatah members in the Gaza Strip told The Jerusalem Post on Monday. They said the Hamas crackdown on Fatah intensified after the cease
 
Terrorist stopped at border
An unrepentant terrorist was turned back at the Canadian border - so where’s the story?An American education professor, one of the founders of a radical 1960s group known as the Weather Underground, which was responsible for a number of bombings in the United States in the early 1970s, was turned back at the Canadian border last night.Dr. William Ayers, a profes
 
Al Qaeda and the Black Plague
Don’t think these guys really live in the 12th century or so?At least 40 al-Qaeda fanatics died horribly after being struck down with the disease that devastated Europe in the Middle Ages. [...]The killer bug, also known as the plague, swept through insurgents training at a forest camp in Algeria, North Africa. It came to light when securi
 
Obama decides Osama is no big deal
Or, "Gosh, those Bush guys weren’t so dumb afterall":Barack Obama suggested last night that removing Osama bin Laden from the battlefield was no longer essential and that America’s security goals could be achieved merely by keeping al-Qaeda "on the run"."My preference obviously would be to capture or kill him," he said. "But if
 
Funny how this works ...
There are reports of a rift forming within Hamas. As you’ll see, it isn’t hard to figure out why that may be happening:Signs of sharp division are appearing within the top ranks of Hamas as fighting with Israel in Gaza intensifies and cease-fire talks brokered by Egypt reach a critical point.The differences have sharpened over the
 
Hamas: Always looking out for the little guy
You get the government you elect:Hamas on Monday raided some 100 aid trucks that Israel had allowed into Gaza, stole their contents and sold them to the highest bidders.The IDF said that since terminal activity is coordinated with UNRWA and the Red Cross, Israel could do nothing to prevent such raids, Israel Radio reported.
 
Contact With Hamas Is The Wrong Solution
Reports are out claiming that the incoming Obama administration will eschew the former policy of isolating terrorist groups and instead seek low level engagement with them. Well, that’s not really what the reports say - they don’t refer to talks between a terror group and the US government at any level. In fact, other than stating that Hamas has been "designated" as a terrorist organization, and implying that’s a mistake, Hamas and terror are bare
 
Mumbai? Blame America
Dorthy Rabinowitz takes issue with the "blame America" crowd, specifically Deepak Chopra, and their attempt to lay the Mumbai terrorist attacks at the feet of the US.How the ebullient Dr. Chopra had come to be chosen as an authority on terror remains something of a mystery, though the answer may have something to do with his emergence in the recent presidential campaign as
 
Who is Lashkar-e-Taiba
Bill Roggio gives some background on the group associated with the Mumbai terrorist attack. He says a lot of people are twisting themselves into knots trying to dissassociate the group from al Qaeda. He also says they’re wrong to do so:Lashkar-e-Taiba has an extensive network in southern and Southeast Asia. A senior US military intelli
 
Iraq no longer "central front" (update)
Well I should hope not, given our success and al Qaeda’s dismal failure there:CIA Director Michael V. Hayden said yesterday that al-Qaeda remains the single greatest threat to the United States but that Iraq is no longer the central front in the broader war on terrorism. "Today, the flow of money, weapons and foreign fighters i
 
"The original al-Qaeda is defeated"
Now I’m not the one making that declaration. Nor is the Bush administration. And certainly not MNFI.Here, read the whole thing: On the Seventh Anniversary of September 11: Time to Declare the original al-Qaeda DefeatedThe original al-Qaeda is defeated.It is a dangerous thing for an analyst to say, because obviously radical Muslim extremists may at some point set off some more bombs and then everyone will point f
 
Speaking Truth To Media Power
This is your "must read" opinion piece for the weekend:I have often wondered why some of the best thinkers of our time refuse to believe in human progress. After all, there was a time when tens of thousands of ordinary citizens flocked to the gates of the Roman Coliseum to enjoy the sight of wild beasts tearing human beings to pieces. Today, such a sight would evoke revulsion and d
 
Terror
In a discussion of torture, Radley Balko on terrorism:“Terrorism” by definition is an effort to use a few attacks to induce unwarranted and irrational fear across an entire population. The aim is get the terrorist’s target to alter its policies, waste its resources, and change its way of life in an irrational response to an enemy without the resources for a more traditio
 
Negotiating with transnational terrorists
From the UK and in reaction to a recent nuclear threat from al Qaeda:One of Britain’s most senior policemen says the country should talk to Al Qaeda to try and end their bloody campaign of violence.Sir Hugh Orde, a front-runner to replace Ian Blair as the Co
 
Somalia strike - "a cautionary tale"
The Washington Post talks about an over-the-horizon strike conducted by the US Navy against an al-Qaeda leader in Somalia. The attack was made with a Tomahawk missile.Aden Hashi Ayro, the man who was killed, deserved the label of "evildoer." As chief of the extremist al-Shabab militia, he supervised and probably participated in the murder of fo
 
Al Qaeda faces a backlash
Al Qaeda is facing growing criticism for its tactics and its goals from those who have, until now, supported them:Al Qaeda increasingly faces sharp criticism from once-loyal sympathizers who openly question its ideology and tactics, including attacks that kill innocent Muslims, according to U.S. intelligence offici
 
The Carter Effect and Hamas’ endorsement
Well, that worked out well, didn’t it:Hamas terrorists have fired 12 rockets at Israel so far Thursday, causing fear but no concrete damage. Two rockets were fired at Sderot around 9 AM, with one landing in the city and one to the south, and another one hit the Eshkol region shortly after 10 AM.Two Katyusha Grad rockets were fired towards the coastal city
 
Eco-Terrrorists fire homes near Seattle
The irony, of course, is the eco-terrorists probably put more harmful elements into the environment by their criminal action than would have been produced throughout the entire life of the home:Fire officials say explosive devices were found inside the homes set afire this morning in the "Street of Dreams" development near Woodinville, outside of Seattle.Crews battle
 
Rapport, not torture, yeilds big intel rewards at Gitmo
Rapport instead of torture has provided a wealth of information from Gitmo detainees:Interrogators got intelligence from detainees that helped U.S. troops in Afghanistan attack Taliban fighters last summer — and they did it through casual questioning and not torture, the military’s chief interrogator here said.[...]For security reasons, he would only dis
 
A split among the Taliban?
Perhaps, perhaps not, but anything which adds to turmoil within their organization and causes other members to choose sides is a good thing in terms of degrading their operational effectiveness:A key Taliban commander reportedly kicked out of the militia believes the dismissal order is a conspiracy against him and has not been signed off by Taliban leader Mullah Omar, his spokesman
 
Bin Laden: Reduced to lying and begging
He’s baaaaaaaaaack. Obi has left another audio nugget with Al Jazeera.First the lie:"The American tide is ebbing, with God’s help, and they will go back to their countries," he said, speaking of Europeans.And then the begging:"It is better for you to stand against your leaders who are dropping in on the White House
 
Hamas - the al Qaeda of Palestine
When you elect a terrorist group as a part of your government it should come as no surprise when they act like what they are:Hamas security forces opened fire Monday at a rally by the rival Fatah movement commemorating Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Six people were killed in the bloodiest day of intra-Palestinian fighting since Hamas seized control of the Gaza
 
All is not well in Terrorist World
When you see things like the following start to become public, you can pretty much count on the fact that what you are seeing is really the tip of the iceberg as far as the depth of the problems an organization may be having. It is also worth noting that the criticism is also aimed at what most in the West consider the mouthpiece of terrorism, Al Jazeera:
 
British study - 9/10 posture key to winning GWoT
Says a British think tank:Six years after the September 11 attacks in the United States, the "war on terror" is failing and instead fueling an increase in support for extremist Islamist movements, a British think-tank said on Monday.The Oxford Research Group (ORG) says:"If the al Qaeda movement is to be countered, then the roots of its
 
A different kind of Fatwa
Says MEMRI:Yesterday, on October 1, 2007, Saudi Mufti Sheikh Abd Al-’Aziz bin Abdallah Aal Al-Sheikh issued a fatwa prohibiting Saudi youth from engaging in jihad abroad. In his fatwa, he stated that setting forth to wage jihad without authorization by the ruler is a serious transgression, and that young Saudis who do so are being misled by suspicious elements from bot
 
Let’s get something perfectly clear
To the Ezra Kleins of the world, no one is afraid of what Ahmadinejad might say.Not a bit. In fact I wasn’t at all surprised by what he said at Columbia.That’s not why I objected to his speaking.I objected to his speaking because he’s a thug and a terrorist. I objected to his speaking because he has American blood on his han
 
Al Qaeda’s internal pressures (a followup)
I used a Strategy Page post to discuss the possibility of some internal fractures and pressures being possible within the organization of al Qaeda.Newsweek’s Sami Yousafzai and Ron Moreau also discuss the possibility here. The interesting parts concern the reported Zawahiri fixation
 
A few thoughts about al Qaeda
Interesting bit of conjecture from the Strategy Page about al Qaeda’s possible problems, leadership and future.Recent reports about Ayman al Zawahiri taking control of al Qaeda from Osama bin Laden, missed some important points. The obvious one is that bin Laden was never more than a charismatic figurehead and source of funds for the movement, while al
 
More al Qaeda video to be released
The Loose Change crowd and the large percentages of Democrats who believe George Bush either caused or allowed 9/ll to happen aren’t going to like this:Al-Qaeda will release a third video marking the sixth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, this time showing its top leader in Afghanistan, US monitoring gr
 
The Anthrax Attacks
Atrios pushes a suggestion that I don’t find very plausible...Doesn’t Anyone Remember Anthrax?What I just learned from CNN:6 years after 9/11 there have been no terror attacks here in the United States.I’ve long been fascinated by the erasure of the anthrax attacks - which, in their own way, freaked out the country m
 
Saying what I have to say about 9/11 and the War on Terror
September 11 is here. For me, that means I’ll be taking some time within a day or two of that date to watch this video.I don’t want to watch it. I know what will happen. Within two minutes, tears will be streaming down my cheeks. I’ll be somber and depressed for hours. But I do it because I believe it’s necessary.
 
OBL Movie Marathon
Seems Osama is going to try to make up for wasted time and have a "video surge" near the anniversary of 9/11.This time, according to Briebart: Al-Qaida said Monday that it will release a new video of Osama bin Laden presenting the last testament of one of the Sept. 11 suicide hijackers, marking the sixth anniversary of the attacks. The
 
A few thoughts on OBL
From Josh Marshall and, in this case in particular his aptly named "Talking Points Memo", this paragraph:As I skimmed the transcript of the new bin Laden tape with its discussion of global warming, subprime credit woes, Noam Chomsky, Richard Perle, the low tax nirvana of Islam and a bunch of other stuff, I could not help feeling sad again about how we gave this joker a ne
 
Kos and Osama agree - it’s the Democrats’ fault
OK, I couldn’t resist that, it was just too perfect. You’ll see why in a minute.ABC is offering the following as part of the transcript from the Osama bin Laden tape:"People of America: the world is following your news in regards to your invasion of Iraq, for people have recently come to know that, after several years of trage
 
Edwards wants more bureaucracy to fight terrorism
John Edwards thinks we need to change our counterterrorism policy: "We need a counterterrorism policy that will actually counter terrorism," Edwards said in remarks prepared for delivery at Pace University. "We’ve got to throw away the failed George Bush policies of the past, and move in a bold new direction."And that "bold new direction?"Anot
 
More on the anticipated OBL tape
Probably the most interesting assessment concerns the beard:"It does look oddly like he is wearing a false beard," Richard Clarke, a former White House counterterrorism official and now ABC News consultant, said. "If we go back to the tape three years, he had a very white beard. This looks like a phony beard that has been passed on."The "phony beard" ma
 
Two in two days
Yesterday it was Denmark. Today, Germany:Three suspected Islamic terrorists from an al-Qaida-influenced group nursing "profound hatred of U.S. citizens" were arrested on suspicious of plotting imminent, massive bomb attacks on U.S. facilities in Germany, prosecutors said Wednesday.Here’s the most interesting part:The three suspects — <
 
So are we safer today than 9/11?
That’s an important question and one that is continually batted around within the respective political parties and among the presidential candidates.Mark Hosenball and Jeffrey Bartholet interview retired Vice Admiral John Scott Redd, head of the National Counterterrorism Center in a Newsweek web exclusive.In the beginning, a lot of talk about Osama an
 
Why designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a "terrorist organization" is important
The Washington Times talks about the probable purpose of the designation now being contemplated by the Bush administration:Michael Jacobson of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (who previously served as a senior adviser in the Treasury Department’s Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence) observes that The Post’s Aug.
 
The coming urban terror
John Robb details what he believes to be "The Coming Urban Terror" based on terror tactics developed in Iraq:Iraq is a petri dish for modern conflict, the Spanish Civil War of our times. It’s the place where small groups are learning to fight modern militaries and modern societies and win. As a result, we can expect to see systems disruption used again and again in moder
 
The South Carolina arrests
Has anyone else been following this story about the two University of South Florida students stopped in South Carolina with pipe bombs? They are 24-year-old Ahmed Mohamed and 21-year-old Yousef Megahed, both here on student visas from the Middle East (Egypt and Kuwait). And they were stopped 7 miles from a naval base that housed detainees from the WoT.They are allged to have been
 
Adaptation: Neo-Taliban emerges
Check out this MEMRI clip (just hit view clip - it’s about 11 minutes long) of an al Jazeera documentary on the "neo-Taliban" in Afghanistan. Note how they’ve essentially thrown over many their former hard-line theocratic requirements (no opium, no music, no video/computers/media) in order to adapt to the war in Afghanistan. Obviously they’ve figured out that
 
Dissention in al Qaeda?
Well that would be interesting, wouldn’t it?Pakistani and Taliban officials interviewed by Newsweek say the Qaeda No. 2, Ayman Al-Zawahiri is behind the wave of retaliatory attacks launched after Pakistani troops overran the Red Mosque in Islamabad, which have killed more than 150 people. While Osama bin Laden has been keepi
 
May-December in a burqua
Sometimes you just don’t know what to say:Omar bin Laden, the al-Qaida leader’s fourth son, has married a British woman he met in Egypt last fall, British media and colleagues of the bride said today.Jane Felix-Browne, 51, of Moulton-Cheshire, in northwest England, was in Egypt for medical treatment of multiple sclero
 
Silver linings involving al Qaeda
Bet you never thought to see a title like that, but every now and then such things occur. Al Qaeda, not sufficiently pleased to be at war with everyone in Iraq is now threatening to go to war with Iran:Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, who leads the group Islamic State in Iraq , said his Sunni fighters have been preparing for four years to wage a battle against Shiite-dominated Iran.
 
First, do no harm
Melanie Phillips goes off on a little riff here:People in Britain are shocked — shocked! — that medical doctors are suspected of involvement in the al Qaeda terrorist attacks on Britain over the past few days. The shock reflects the deep unreality of public discourse up till now. People have persisted in believing that Islamic terrorism could be explained by poverty, deprivati
 
About those timelines
It is indeed always nice when your avowed enemy steps up to make a point for you:"You must be patient and steadfast," he says. "Rejoice, for victory is near, with Allah’s permission, and the herds of crusaders have begun to split up and their sole concern has become searching for a way out."That, of course, is from from al Qaeda’s top deput
 
Former Jihadi speaks out.
Interesting articleby Hassan Butt (ok can the jokes, we’re already rated "R") who claims to be a former British jihadi and peer of Mohammed Sidique Khan, who led the July 7th bombing attack in London.Point one:When I was still a member of what is probably best termed the British Jihadi Network - a series of British Muslim terrori
 
Meanwhile in Yemen ....
Obviously not all terrorist bombers are amateurs.But it might reinforce the theory in the post below. Yemen has always has had an al Qaeda presence, so retaining some of that expertise necessary for this type of attack is entirely probable. Secondly, I would guess it is much easier to travel within the Middle East for them than it is to travel to the West now.
 
Why is it amateur hour among terrorists?
The Strategy Page has an article up about al Qaeda and how, in their opinion, the war isn’t going that well for them at the moment. It’s an interesting read. But in light of the bomb attempts in the UK in London and Glasgow, I found
 
Bumper sticker shows up in London
An explosives packed silver Mercedes was disarmed today in London:Police have defused a car bomb found near Piccadilly Circus in London’s West End.The "explosive device", discovered at 2am, posed a real and substantial threat to the surrounding area, according to a police source. Car bomb found in London’s West End.
 
Propaganda event or the real deal?
From ABC:Large teams of newly trained suicide bombers are being sent to the United States and Europe, according to evidence contained on a new videotape obtained by the Blotter on ABCNews.com.Teams assigned to carry out attacks in the United States, Canada, Great Brit
 
WNBC reports on foiled plot to bomb JFK airport (update)
Seems 4 have been charged in a foiled bomb plot on JFK airport in New York:According to NewsChannel4’s Jonathan Dienst, sources said federal investigators have made arrests in an alleged terror plot on Kennedy Airport.Four people have been charged. One is in custody in New York. Three suspects are thought to be overseas.Sources said one susp
 
Fred Thompson talks about our lame propaganda effort
Yesterday in a post entitled "The Long War" I talked about our serious lack of a positive propaganda effort to counter those efforts made by our declared enemies and those who are attempting to subvert freedom. I’ve talked about that lack of an effort many times in the past (here,  
The long war
Jason Steck at the Moderate Voice writes an interesting piece entitled "What is Al Qaeda". He begins with a familiar criticism:The “war on terrorism” was always a misnomer. Terrorism is a tactic and you can’t have a war against a tactic. Tactics can’t attack, they can’t negotiate, and they can’t surrender. Tactics are just tools, tools used by people
 
What we face ...
It is important to know the extent to which those who call us the "Great Satan" will go to make war against us and our allies. it’s also instructive to understand that what you will see is enabled, and in fact encouraged, by a religion. There is no violence or graphic scenes in the video linked here. Instead, at its completion, you will find yourself saddened beyond measure. Nothing
 
Terrorism: The threat from south of the border
One of the things we take grief over is borders. That’s to say, some of us do. Some in our group feel "open borders" to be an important principle and continue to support them. And I certainly understand the principle and the stance. In a perfect world, I’d be for them as well. Unfortunately we live in an imperfect world in which open borders pose a security threat to those living here in the US. An
 
The strange case of the Ft. Dix terrorists
Apparently they’ve been under surveillance for a while:Officials would not comment beyond the brief statement. But two law enforcement sources said the men had conducted surveillance of the Army base and were caught allegedly attempting to purchase AK-47s to carry out their plan.The bust came after several of them were lured to a meeti
 
"Critical Mass" and Islam
I think Tony Blankley touches on the concern many have about the possibility that the revolutionary form of Islam, more commonly referred to as radical Islam, can or will reach "critical mass" within the Muslim community. It should be remembered that a majority of Germans never voted for Hitler. His high watermark was about four in 10 — and that
 
Saudi Arabia arrests terror cells
I’ve been facinated by the accounts of the arrests in Saudi Arabia involving 172 suspected terrorists.I’ve had a habit over the years of putting numbers like that in the context of a military organization, and 172 is about the size of a slightly understrength infantry company. IOW, in terrorist terms, it’s a fair number of people. Some of the information gleaned from news r
 
Why al Qaida will never succeed: Cucumbers and tomatoes
In relative terms, good news from Iraq:At least two major insurgent groups are battling al-Qaida in provinces outside Baghdad, American military commanders said Friday, an indication of a deepening rift between Sunni guerrilla groups in Iraq.U.S. officers say a growing number of Sunni tribes are turning against al-Qaida, repelled by the terror group’s sh
 
Of course it’s because of Israel
That’s the usual claim for any Islamist terrorism.I’m going to be interested to see how the crowd who finds that such a convenient catch-all explanation will apply it here.A group with links to al-Qaida today said it carried out the bombings in Algiers that killed at least 30 people and injured more than 80.A group cal
 
Does this make sense?
Bizarre stuff:In a warning to U.S. police departments, the FBI says that foreign nationals with "ties to extremists groups" are driving school buses or have licenses to drive them, but that "parents and children have nothing to fear."Uh, huh. So tell me again why the FBI felt it was necessary to issue the warning? I mean if we have nothing to fear a
 
Testing, testing ... 1, 2, 3
Reading this bizarre story about the Iraqi national with magnets and wires up his rear left me wondering if this couldn’t have been some sort of test of our airport security:An Iraqi national wearing wires and concealing a magnet inside his rectum triggered a security scare at Los An
 
Bin Laden in the crosshairs? Keep your fingers crossed.
Via ABC, there’s a report that Coalition forces in Afghanistan are attacking a holdout with a "high-value" Al Qaeda target:Official sources would not rule out that al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden himself was the intended victim. Afghan officials said the target could be another senior ranking al Qaeda leader.The resistance appears to be stiff, which is consistent with pro
 
Al Qaeda going back on the offensive?
The Asia Times thinks so:Al-Qaeda will this year significantly step up its global operations after centralizing its leadership and reviving its financial lifelines. Crucially, al-Qaeda has developed missile and rocket technology with the capability of carrying chemical, biological and nuclear warheads, according to an al-Qaeda insider who spoke to Asia Times Online.
 
General Boykin gets it ... we’re losing the information war in the WoT
Now the question is, will anyone listen to him:“If we look at is as terrorism, we have a tendency to think that the solution is to kill or capture all the terrorists. That’s a never-ending process,” Army Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin, undersecretary of defense for intelligence and warfighting support, said.“We’ll never be successful, we’ll never get there, if we t
 
BBC smacks "Loose Change" and "Truthers" around a bit
You recall the post last week in which I dared to mention that "Loose Change", the internet conspiracy theory movie, wasn’t "the truth?"Well the BBC takes a look at it and the whole "Truther" movement, and to say it finds them and their facts wanting, well, that’d be an understatement.So for the "Loose Change" folks, here’s another video
 
Al Qaeda lectures the Democrats
In a 40 minute taped screed, Al Qaeda’s number 2 terrorist lectures the Democrats about not living up to their rhetoric:On the tape, Zawahiri also condemns American Democrats "as one side of the same coin of tyranny, criminality and failure" for failing to challenge Bush policies as they said they would in the election.So, uh, Democrats ... do yo
 
Shocking! Truly!
Hassan Nasrallah, the head of the Hezbollah, has shocked with world into stunned insensibility with a bombshell admission that none expected.Moving to the issue of Iran and Syria, Nasrallah emphasized the integral role which both states have played in strengthening and assisting the guerilla organization."Iran assists the or
 
"Bombs" in Boston part of TV marketing plan
No, really.The incidents were part of a marketing campaign that involved a character from the cartoon show "Aqua Teen Hunger Force.""The ’packages’ in question are magnetic lights that pose no danger. They are part of an outdoor marketing campaign in 10 cities in support of Adult Swim’s animated television show ’Aqua Te
 
Jimmy Carter on Al Jazeera
For the defenders of Jimmy Carter, explain this quote on Al Jazeera:I don’t consider... I wasn’t equating the Palestinian missiles with terrorism. But when the Palestinians commit terrorist acts, and I mean when a person blows himself up within a bus full of civilians, or when the target of the operation is women and children – such acts create a rejection of the Pal
 
"24" and a blast from the past
No pun intended.Back in 2004 Dale and I had a discussion about the possibility of a Soviet suitcase nuke ending up on terrorist hands. We disagreed but managed to dig up a lot of good info on the subject. Lo and behold, last night we saw the use of a suitcase nuke in the plot of the hit TV show "24".Thought you might like to review our discussion and the feasibility of such a thing actually happening.Start  
How much of a threat is a dirty bomb?
A new study says it’s definitely a threat, and, for the most part, a pretty easy device to fashion and use: “The technical capability required to construct and use a simple RDD is practically trivial, compared to that of a nuclear explosive device or even most chemical or biological weapons,” the CSIS study says.A h
 
The FBI’s Record
Columnist Jack Kelly isn’t too impressed with the FBI’s record in terror investigations.The House International Relations committee issued a report last week criticizing the FBI’s investigation of the 1995 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City.The FBI failed to pursue credible information that Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols had hel
 
The state of Al Qaeda
Interesting assessment of al Qaeda by Stratfor’s Fred Burton (subscription required):The theme of Stratfor’s 2006 forecast for al Qaeda and the jihadist movement centered on the evolution — or the devolution, really — from al Qaeda "the group" to a broader global jihadist movement. This essentially was a shift from an al Qaeda operational model based on an "all-star team" of opera
 
We’re obviously more aware since 9/11
The case of the 6 Imams is a perfect example. While no single thing they did was enough to raise suspicion, the sum of what they did was.From Boston, another example of suspicious activity, that in sum (i.e. when the dots were connected), at least warranted a look by authorities:A truck-driving student is in custody in Boston after raising suspicion
 
In defense of Newt Gingrich
I was disturbed this morning to read that Newt Gingrich had said "the country will be forced to reexamine freedom of speech to meet the threat of terrorism". It didn’t sound like something Newt Gingrich would say; in fact, it didn’t make much sense at all. Free speech hasn’t
 
Remember al Qaeda?
Remember al Qaeda’s stated goal of taking over a country so it could base out of it, train it’s minions and then make war to reestablish the Caliphate?Well, it’s first try was Afghanistan. It didn’t quite succeed. Second, Iraq. A dismal failure.But fear not, AQ apparently have found a more likely target: Somalia faces t
 
Much ado about nothing ... again.
If you quickly read some of the press recently, headlines like this, ’Rumsfeld, Ashcroft received warning of al Qaida attack before 9/11’, certainly would lead one to believe it was all preventable.A warning. Before 9/11. Two names you love to hate. All the ingredients are there, for heaven sake, to point the fickle finger of blame.But af
 
(UPDATED) French say Osama may be Tango Uniform
Yes, it’s a rumor. Apparently it is a rumor taken from a secret French intelligence report (not that it makes much of a difference in terms of credibility):A French regional newspaper quoted a French secret service report on Saturday as saying that Saudi Arabia is convinced that
 
Ethanol from Afghanistan?
Citing a Michael Yon aticle at NRO on opium production in Afghanistan, Greg Polliwitz has what seems to be a good idea. Why not send a little cash toward Afghanistan to allow them to develop an ethanol industry? Farmers in Afghanistan are growing opium because it
 
Attack on US Embassy in Syria
The US Embassy in Syria was attacked today by 4 terrorists.Four?They’ve been watching too many movies. Although armed with automatic weapons and hand grenades (and car bombs, some of which failed to go off) they never got beyond the high walls of the embassy. No US personnel were injured.Apparently 3 of the attackers and one of the S
 
Al-Jazeera airs video meeting of bin Laden and 9/11 Hijackers
The thought that first struck me when I heard this:Al Jazeera has just run video showing Osama bin Laden meeting with some of the 9/11 hijackers. The video was produced by al Qaeda’s media arm as Sahab. Earlier today as Sahab had announced on an Islamist message board that it would release a "September 11th" video on the internet soon.[...]The video shows s
 
Meanwhile in Afghanistan
An interesting article about what the Taliban is now targeting:Education Minister Mohammed Hanif Atmar says attacks have closed more than 208 schools — including 144 burned down — in the past year as militants changed tactics to hit soft targets. By some estimates, attacks have increased six-fold over 2005."Over the past couple of months, the enemy of this nati
 
Profiling as a security measure
Rubin Navarette feels racial profiling is "un-American" .First of all, the term "racial profiling" is a loaded term. It hearkens back to the days when people were excluded from society and opportunity -and worse- simply because of the color of their skin.Secondly, it tends to bias the argument against doing what most people would c
 
Everything you wanted to know about liquid explosives but were afraid to ask
Given the focus on the fact that the British bomb plot recently uncovered saw the plotters planning to use liquid explosives, I began looking around for information on them.Global Security has a good roundup of information about them and, as you’ll see, how easily some sort of binary system could be procured for use in a plot like that. We&rsqu
 
Defining the enemy
Richard Cohen reviews the Israeli/Hezbollah fight in a column today. Much of what he says really doesn’t resonate with me. He seems to be taking the opportunity to talk about that fight as a way to take shots at the Bush administration which seem to be a stretch at best, especially given his final few paragraphs. In those he does, I think, get to the core of the problem both Israel and the West face in  
Is al Qaeda’s significance fading?
Stratfor seems to think so (via email - no link). It has drawn 4 quick points or lessons from this latest attempted operation:First, while there obviously remains a threat from those not only sympathetic to al Qaeda, but actually participating in planning with those in the al Qaeda apex leadership, their ability to launch successful attacks outside of the Middle East is severely degraded.Or
 
Islamic Fascism: CAIR Ignores History
Apparently President Bush inflamed the politically correct among Muslims when he dared to refer to those who would rule the world under their caliphate as "Islamic fascists":U.S. Muslim groups criticized President George W.
 
(UPDATED) British terror plot: 10 aircraft targeted
Terrorists continue to plot and attempt mass murder. Intelligence agencies continue to try to foil them:A plot to blow up planes in flight from the UK to the US and commit "mass murder on an unimaginable scale" has been disrupted, Scotland Yard has said.It is thought the plan was to detonate explosive devices smuggled in hand luggage on to as many as 10 aircraft.<
 
Sound Familiar?
Mark Steyn:But, when an army goes to war against a terrorist organization, it’s like watching the Red Sox play Andre Agassi: Each side is being held to its own set of rules. When Hezbollah launches rockets into Israeli residential neighborhoods with the intention of killing random civilians, that’s fine because, after all, they’re terrorists and that’s what terrorists do. But
 
General Yaalon gets it right
Writing in the Washington Post today, retired Israeli LTG Moshe Yaalon (former chief of staff of the IDF) points out the hard truth about civilian casualties in Lebanon:Terrorists are fanatics, but they are not idiots. If the terrorist tactic of using human shields helps them achieve their goals, they will utilize it. If it undermines their goal
 
Geneva Conventions and Terrorists
The Editors of both the Wall Street Journal and National Review are upset that the Defense Department has sent out out a memo declaring that captured terrorists are to be treated according to Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions. Much of the anger is directed at what this
 
Iraq: The 1920 Revolution Brigades and its allies
Recently 6 of the 11 insurgent groups were named which have responded to the Iraqi insurgency plan. Because they interest me, I’ve been digging around a bit and have come across a very useful database out there which keeps tabs on a vast number of terrorist groups around the world.The MIPT Terrorist Knowledge Base is an extremely useful website which allows you access to all that they have gath
 
Canadian Jihad: A family affair
The Globe and Mail has a fascinating and disturbing piece on 4 of the wives of the 17 arrested in Canada for terrorist activities. Apparently the paper uncovered some posts on both forums and blogs in which these 4 wives spoke freely about their belief in jihad. In fact, one even mentioned that she had seriously considered
 
OBL and Islam: Support eroding?
Apparently we have a new tape from Osama bin Laden and apparently he defends Zarqawi’s attacks on Iraqis. As usual, its an audio tape (which to this point hasn’t been confirmed as him):Osama bin Laden defended attacks by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi against civilians in Iraq, purportedly saying in a taped Web message Friday that the slain al-Qaida in Iraq lead
 
What can Israel do?
Jon wrote today:All of this underlines the importance of Israeli extraction from the occupied territories and from the Palestinians’ internecine conflict. So long as progress is predicated on Palestinian cooperation and control of their own radical groups, then the Israeli/Palestinian conflict will be controlled by those least interested in peace.Unless the Palestinians can reign in their
 
Zarqawi autopsy report/info on 3 Guantanamo deaths
Here’s a release from the DoD with comments from the miliary surgeon who performed the autopsy on Zarqawi. He addresses the allegations that Zarqawi was beaten prior to dying.The officials also said that DNA testing proves that the body is that of the terrorist leader. "We hav
 
Palestinian gunmen didn’t want to end up like Zarqawi
Tell me the death of Zarqawi didn’t have an impact among the terrorist community in the Middle East:Members of an armed Fatah militia which claimed to have kidnapped an Israeli Saturday transferred the individual in question, a U.S. citizen, to the custody of the Palestinian Authority before dawn Sunday.The PA security forces subsequently handed t
 
Is the Global War on Terror having the desired effect?
Possibly. From Paul Haven at AP: They rose up quickly to take up Osama bin Laden’s call for jihad, ruthless men in their 20s and 30s heralded as the next generation of global terror.Two years later, 40 percent are dead, targets of a worldwide crackdown that claimed its biggest victory with the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, al-Qaida’s
 
Haditha: Inconsistencies in civilian story
One of the reasons I’ve been reluctant to discuss Haditha’s details is the amount of confusion concerning what really went on there. I prefer the results of a methodical investigation rather than scattered and apparently contradictory accounts. Dan at Riehl World View takes a good look at the MSM coverage concerning Haditha and points to numerou
 
Zarqawi killed in US airstrike
This, apparently, isn’t one of those false alarms according to news services:Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, al-Qaida’s leader in Iraq who led a bloody campaign of suicide bombings and kidnappings, has been killed in an air strike, U.S. and Iraqi officials said Thursday, adding that his identity was confirmed by fingerprints and a look at his f
 
Disarmed in the War on Terror by Political Correctness
Read these paragraphs carefully. They’re by British columnist Melanie Phillips. She’s addressing the larger problem Britian faces now because it has refused to face the problem in the past. She also points to the reason why this problem now exists and continues to exist in Britain and elsewhere:The problem lies in a refusal to acknowledge that Islamist extr
 
The blast in Egypt
Although an obvious tragedy, the triple bombing in an Egyptian resort town which killed 23 and injured 62 got me thinking.Simultaneous bomb blasts are a hallmark of an al Qaeda operation and although no direct link has yet been made, some investigators feel the possibility of al Qaeda involvement is strong.What got me to thinking about this is the latest  
Osama’s latest
Well, at least for me, the matter of whether Osama bin Laden is alive or not has been settled, given that the most recent tape is authentic. Why?Osama bin Laden denounced what he called a "Zionist-crusaders war on Islam" in an audiotape broadcast Sunday, pointing to the isolation of the Hamas-led Palestinian government, talk of a Western peacekeeping force in Sudan and Musl
 
Bin Laden: Alive and armed with nukes?
Truth or rumor?Well, we’ll see.WorldNet Daily (I know, I know) is reporting it as truth:Rumors of Osama bin Laden’s death are greatly exaggerated and the al-Qaida leader is preparing his next video broadcast to be aired on al-Jazeera, reports an acclaimed Pakistani journalist who has interviewed him.In an exclusive inte
 
Terrorism: Recruiting "White" muslims
Although we don’t "profile" (cough, cough), muslim terror organizations have decided looking "arabic" is a detriment and are looking for a few "white" muslims to blow themselves (and others) up:Terrorists have been working to recruit non-Arab sympathizers — so-called "white Muslims" with Western features who th
 
The Face of Jihadist Fodder
The trial of Zacarias Moussaoui has been interesting to me for one very important reason: it has brought us face-to-face with the fundamentalist jihadist personality and mentality. If nothing else, it has given us a glimpse into what can only be characterized as the disturbed mind of a religious fanatic who is willing to act on his warped understanding of his faith to include
 
Losing In Iraq?
William F. Buckley Jr. writes that the American effort in Iraq has failed. We may not acknowledge it immediately, but, in essence, he believes that the recent attack on the Shiite mosque in Iraq shows that sectarian violence cannot be stopped. He believes that postulates we’ve operated under—that the Iraqi people’s desire for freedom will overcome their inte
 
Schumer and King question the port deal
Sen Chuck Schumer and Rep Pete King take a bipartisan moment to pontificate about the port controversy today in USA Today asking "Where’s the Common Sense":In a post-9/11 world, common sense would dictate that the proposed Dubai Ports World deal would trigger intense scrutiny on the part of our government. Yet common sense clearly did not prevai
 
Works for me
Osama bin Laden’s latest:Osama bin Laden vowed never to be captured alive ... Er, OK then. I’m a firm believer in helping people keep their vows.
 
Al-Qaeda’s strategy and struggles
Documents released by Special Operations Command through West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center reveal some of the struggles of post 9/11 al-Qaeda. Also revealed is the strategic goal, or "end game" for al-Queda:The documents show al-Qaeda is committed to waging a holy war against "dictators of the Earth and secular groups" that will end only whe
 
"Our commitment to the rule of law"
"These are people picked up off the battlefield in Afghanistan."— President Bush, June 20, 2005The National Journal has a disturbing cover story about Guantanamo Bay, which Stuart Taylor summarizes here... (cover story now at  
Is Zawahiri worm food?
Well, CNN is saying "maybe". We’ve heard that before, haven’t we? OTOH, it sure would be nice:A CIA airstrike on a building in Pakistan may have killed Osama bin Laden’s most-trusted aide, sources said.The building where Ayman al-Zawahiri was thought to be is in Damadola, a small village near the Afghan border.There ha